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Human Development and Family Science


So, Tell Us …


  • Are you passionate about families? Children? Teenagers? Older Adults?
  • Are you interested by interpersonal relationships between family members, married couples or friends? Do you want to help individuals achieve healthy relationships?
  • Do you believe it is important to try to prevent family crises before they occur?
  • What about the policies that directly affect families or the agencies that assist families in times of need? Do these appeal to you?
  • Are you curious as to how the family fits into the larger society?  Have you ever wondered about how one's actions affect the entire family?
  • Do you desire to educate students in matters of human development or food science?


If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then one of our MAJORS may be just what you are looking for.


  • The Human Development & Family Science major focuses on the development of the individual in the context of family and society with particular attention to interpersonal dynamics
  • The Family and Consumer Science Education major prepares those who wish to be certified to teach family and consumer sciences in kindergarten through twelfth grade in public or private schools.
  • The Child and Family Services major, designed for TEACH students, helps childcare professionals to become more effective partners with families in fostering healthy development of children by highlighting the importance of parenting, family systems and interpersonal dynamics in the lives of children


Or … one of our MINORS may nicely complement the major you have already selected.


  • Children and Youth Services
  • Gerontology
  • Human Development & Family Science
  • Multicultural Families
  • Pre-Counseling and Therapy
  • Gender Studies


Or … perhaps you are just curious as to what our majors have to offer. In this case, you’ll want to take our introductory class to get a broad overview of our course content. Foundations of Marriage and Family (HDFS 101) is offered each semester and counts for your social science general education requirement.



What is Family Science and how is it distinct from other Social Sciences?


  • Interdisciplinary discipline - The field provides a holistic, unified vision of families.
  • Foci of study concentrates on relationships, particularly within the family.
  • Theoretical framework which emphasizes centrality of family systems (one affects whole), family strengths philosophy (as opposed to pathology, deviance, anomaly), lifespan and ecosystems perspectives (individual and family life cycle).
  • Application-based discipline; emphasis on practical skill development via internships, serice-learning and experiential education
  • Thrust toward prevention, as well as intervention - providing skills and knowledge to individuals and families at critical points across the family life cycle to avoid problems/crises.
  • Students able to obtain Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) Credential.



Strengths of the Human Development and Family Science Department


  • Flexibility - With careful planning, students have the option to study abroad, participate in internships, graduate with a minor, and graduate in 3.5 years.
  • Experience and Application Opportunities - Several classes have a Service-Learning component that provides students with the opportunity to network and gain valuable skills while they volunteer in the community.
  • Opportunity to pursue unique professional interests within curricula - The Program is flexible enough to tailor specific assignments, service-learning experiences, and internships to one's individual interests.
  • Integration of Christian faith into curriculum.
  • Nationally respected programs.
  • Affirmed by the National Council of Family Relations (NCFR) ; Graduates of both majors can be certified as Family Life Educators (recognizes expertise in 10 content areas).


So, Go Ahead … Help Build Strong Families

Contact Us
Give to the HDFS Student Professional Development Fund

PDF of Career Booklet

Career Booklet